Health

U.S. Department of Agriculture / https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/

A Senate committee on Monday approved a bill that would extend Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits — also known as SNAP or food stamps — to former offenders convicted of certain drug-related offenses.

A federal law prohibits former criminals convicted of, for example, trafficking controlled substances, from receiving food stamp benefits. States can choose to do away with the federal ban with a positive legislative vote.

C-SPAN / https://www.c-span.org/video/?421723-1/hhs-nominee-representative-tom-price-testifies-capitol-hill

During a Senate grilling of Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Price at the Georgia Representative’s confirmation hearing this week, Indiana Senator Todd Young expressed support for a lesser-known part of the Affordable Care Act.

Matthew Hurst / https://www.flickr.com/photos/skewgee/2463077387

In light of the ongoing antitrust trial playing out in Washington, Indianapolis-based health insurer Anthem has extended the deadline to complete a merger with Connecticut-based Cigna until April 30th, according to a form filed this week to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The merger between the two healthcare giants originally had a deadline of January 31st. However, the agreement left the door open to extending it three more months.

Jim Nix / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimnix/6168273244

Approximately 1,000 Hoosiers showed up in Indianapolis Sunday to protest congressional efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The rally was organized by a coalition of local and state-wide organizations, including Planned Parenthood, the Indiana Democratic Party and the state chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Rallies across the U.S. were spurred in part by Senator Bernie Sanders (who was not in attendance at the Indianapolis event).

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On his first day of office, Governor Eric Holcomb signed an executive order creating an Executive Director of Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement.

The new director, Jim McClelland, is a former CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana. He takes a firm stance that addiction should be understood to be an illness.

In his new role, he will coordinate drug-related efforts across state agencies such as the state health department and the Family and Social Services Administration.

Sarah Fentem / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Carolyn Kelso and her husband Robert live in a big house north of Indianapolis, with original paintings on the wall and furry throws on the furniture. Carolyn herself is 71, with short blonde hair and stylish chunky black glasses. 

She and her husband take their health seriously, and her mother suffered from Alzheimer’s, so she noticed right away when something was wrong.

“I’d get to the car and go down to the corner, and couldn’t remember where I was going, couldn’t remember if I was going left or right,” Carolyn Kelso says.

 

East Chicago’s lead crisis came up Thursday at Ben Carson’s confirmation hearing to lead the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Carson, the retired neurosurgeon from Detroit tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to lead HUD, was answering a question from U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).

Donnelly asked if Carson would continue HUD’s response to lead contamination in an East Chicago public housing complex.

Lawmakers Aim To Reduce Cervical Cancer Deaths

Jan 11, 2017

 

About 250 Hoosier women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and about 85 die from the disease.

Those numbers have remained stagnant in Indiana, despite advances in prevention and screening. Republican Reps. Sharon Negele and Holli Sullivan filed a bill to address this.

Negele says the proposal would require the Indiana State Department of Health to develop a plan identifying barriers and crafting recommendations to reduce the number of deaths.

Trey Pennington / https://www.flickr.com/photos/treypennington/

Eric Holcomb has signed an executive order creating a position within his office to oversee all state agencies involved with drug prevention and treatment efforts.

Retired Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana CEO Jim McClelland will serve as the new Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement. In that role, he’ll be in charge of overseeing the drug-related efforts of nine Indiana agencies, including the Department of Health, the Professional Licensing Agency and the Family and Social Services Administration.

Proposal Would Mandate Ultrasound Before Abortion

Jan 10, 2017

A new abortion bill proposed in the Indiana legislature would require women look and listen to an ultrasound before having an abortion. Current law allows women to opt out.

The bill, authored by Republican Sen. Dennis Kruse, would mean a woman seeking an abortion could no longer waive the requirement she view an ultrasound and listen to the fetus’ heartbeat. Kruse declined requests for an interview but said in a statement that he authored the bill to prevent abortions of unborn Hoosier children.

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